Sunday, October 14, 2012

A Convergence of Crones: We Descend on the Manhattan Vintage Show

We went to the latest Manhattan Vintage Show with not one but two of our favorite bloggers - The Style Crone (far left) and Shelley, The Forest City Fashionista (between Judith and Jean). We even took the day off (something we never, ever do!) so we could form a United Crone Front. The planets aligned so Judith stayed longer in New York City after the Fab Over Fifty fashion show (in which we modeled Marla Wynne's fashions) and Shelley flew in from Canada for a whirlwind weekend in the Big Apple to join us in the festivities.

No sooner had we arrived than we divided up, to conquer. Valerie saw Hamish Bowles sweep by in a purple trench coat. (You will remember we saw him during Fashion's Night Out, but were unable to get a good photograph of him. So this time we stalked him just a little bit.) Valerie sent Shelley after him while she caught up with Tim John. Valerie herself lost sight of Mr. Bowles, but was mollified when she saw this woman trying on this fabulous black and white '60s coat. The woman seemed to be undecided, so Valerie (rejoined by Shelley, who had already scored her pic) urged her to buy it, all agog because it looked so great on her. Then, much to our wonderment, out from behind the racks popped Hamish Bowles. It turned out they were friends. The woman conferred with him, and wound up buying the coat at a very good price.

We don't know what this gent bought, but doesn't he look great?

The Manhattan Vintage Show at the Metropolitan Pavilion brought together 92 of the most knowledgeable vendors to create the ultimate "kid in a candy store" environment for vintage mavens such as ourselves. We have been coming for years and always find something new and different. This show focused on Swinging London's Carnaby Street of 1964-1974 and many of the vendors featured clothing by Biba, Mary Quant and John Stephen.

Here's Judith Boyd, The Style Crone, contemplating a shoe at Angela’s Boutique. Up in the distance to the left is a mannequin in the Daybreak booth wearing a flaming red cape, the kind that defined the Carnaby Street look. That cape was snatched up not long after this picture was taken.

We were delighted to be able to introduce our journalist friend Annie Khan to fellow journalist Lynn Yeager.

Shelley was thrilled to run into her "hair twin", makeup Artist Kendra Joseph (center) sporting a matching hairdo. They'd met at the last Manhattan Vintage Show. Kendra's friend bought the purse she's holding from The Ginko Tree.

Here's Theo of Paradox Designs. When we admired his pants, he pointed out that he was actually wearing a sweater, with the arms as legs, and the torso as the waist and hips. He's rolled up the excess around his waist. The seam that joins the arm to the shoulder winds up at the front of the knee, and defines the leg in a very interesting way. Theo was also wearing copper pipe fixtures as knuckle rings, which looked fabulous on him.  Oh, and we loved his hair style, too.

Among the nearly one hundred dealers, just about everything was represented. At this booth (which we would name, but the proprietor asked us not to), we found this marvelous gray/lilac silk velvet jacket with a stunning huge roll collar that looks like it was modeled on a ram's horn. Probably from just before the great Wall Street Crash of 1929.

The same dealer had this to-die-for Betsey Johnson jacket with a pterodactyl print. Three of us saw it at different times and all fell in love with it. Betsey Johnson was well known for wild prints like this. This has to be from about 1970.

We ran into this gent with a wonderfully textured carpet jacket, and matching period haircut, at the Summer Mizera Vintage booth.

Chase, trying on this vest at Marmalade Vintage, looks very serious here, but was very animated when we spoke with him. On his leg he wears a Vietnamese apron, which he said was over one hundred years old and which he'd purchased at the show.

Ariana of Amarcord modeled a pair of stunning rhinestone earrings. The sign of a really good salesperson is that s/he can interest you in something you never thought you'd have any interest in. That's exactly what Ariana did. This earring binds to the ear in two places -- pierced where you expect it to be with a traditional clip-on bit at the other end that holds it to the top of the ear. The clip-on bit is angled specifically to fasten at the top of the ear, not the ear lobe, so the two ends are not interchangeable, and both are necessary to keep the earring in place. The earrings flare out just a little bit, and are amazingly dramatic with a short haircut. Pair THESE with your little black dress, and watch the sparks fly!

This dog was wearing two pairs of shoes. Show off!

We loved this woman's look, particularly her glasses and two-tone shoes.

Veronica Lopez runs the Gallery of Wearable Art. Love her voided velvet ensemble, and she's paired it with a terrific hat. It's perfect both for her clothes and her face.

This woman also has a wonderful hat paired with a colorfully graphic jacket.

Samuel is doing the preppie look, and does it beautifully! Wish you could see more of his wonderful hair cut.

We last saw Martha G (who wears vintage better than just about anyone) at the Art Deco show at the Japan Society. She made this dress herself, from vintage fabric she bought on Ebay.

Martha was thrilled to find a vintage lucite bag with her initials, MG, already on the top. What are the chances? And of course, she scooped it right up!

Okay. Time to confess that we made TWO trips to the show, both on Friday and Saturday.  We didn't mean to, but when Shelley and Judith both said they were going back on Saturday, we joined them. It really is hard to see everything in one day. It was 4pm, and the show closed at 6, so there was no time to lose. Here, on Friday, Valerie tries on a 1980's polka dot swing coat by Cattiva that she is moments away from buying at Sunset Boulevard Vintage, and promptly wore the next day, the way one does with something new (even if it's really something old).

Jean ran into Tim John at the show. He was sporting long antique Japanese cord ties worn as earrings.

We ran into Zandra Foxx on the first day of the show at the cafe.

Here is Zandra Foxx on the second day of the show, decked out in vintage finery, with an Andrews Sisters' upswept hairdo.

On the first day of the show, Lori Lewin at David Owens wore a black dress with monkey fur trim and terrific buttons, black velvet hat and vintage shoes.

On the second day of the show, Lori wore a brown hat with yellow trim, yellow blouse and tan suit, and looked like she just stepped out of a film noir.

Jean and Shelley ran into Tziporah Salamon, who was checking out the show. At Shelley's request, they posed back to back, Tziporah-style.

Hannah Kurland of Marmalade Vintage poses with the gorgeous couple who own and operate Another Man’s Treasure in Jersey City and their adorable 9-week old baby girl aptly named Biba! They and the baby are flying to England soon so Biba can meet Dad's English side of the family.

Barbara Kennedy always wears an amazing hat and she did not disappoint. Last time, she wore a headpiece that featured vegetables. This time, she wore a purple pointed wool cap. Her booth is a treasure trove of beautiful hats and vintage clothing.

Stu Nizny of Pixel 19 Vintage Clothing stopped to show us his Tom Petty t-shirt, mohawk, tatooed arms and tasseled belt. What you can't see is the fabulous talon-like black earring.

Here's Daniel trying on a jacket. Daniel has very little competition in the finessing-the-total-vintage-look department. We ran into him on the second day. On the first day we ran into his wife, Carol and - ARRGGHH! - have no picture to show you!

Valerie stopped by Sunset Boulevard Vintage wearing her new coat for a photo op with the owners Pervis Ross and Filippo Gurrieri. She's wearing the matching polka dot socks that Jean just happened to have (!) to complete the look. Jean had the same socks, so we were Sock Twins that day. Oh - and you didn't miss the huge red, yellow and blue buttons buttoned on the bias, did you?

Valerie couldn't resist trying on this amazing Balmain yellow and black jacket that was hanging on the wall at Sunset Boulevard. It didn't work at all (AT ALL!) with her polka dot hat, so she paired it with Jean's new vintage Donna Karan hat (from Bohemian Royalty) for the total 1980's look. THAT did the trick!

At Cherry’s booth, we met none other than PBS' Market Warrior Bob Richter himself (left), decked out head-to-toe in classic vintage menswear and spectacles. He posed with the owners of Cherry.

Valerie found this amazing slashed coat at Cherry, which had no label but which the owners feel certain had to be Japanese. We heartily agree.

Jean found this marvelous Romeo Gigli coat at Cherry's, moments before closing time. It floats like the proverbial butterfly, with wonderful horizontal accordion pleating. She topped it with her new Donna Karan 1980's chapeau. Alas, when they blew the closing whistle, we both had to put our marvelous coats back on the racks and head for the door. When we make our first million, guess where we're going to spend some of it?

After all the fun was over, we were exhausted. Our first night, with Shelley in tow, we repaired to Cafeteria, just as we had following the Fab Over Fifty Bash, where we were seated right away by the fabulous management (who remembered us and made such a wonderful fuss over us), and had the same marvelous food and cocktails we'd had before. Here Shelley and Jean play at dueling chilis, which came with their "dirty margaritas". Ater our second foray, Judith and Shelley both had packing to take care of, so we all made our separate ways home, exhausted all over again, but in the best possible way.


  1. Absolutely wonderful! Thanks for sharing all the lovely photos!

  2. I was thrilled to be part of the "convergence of crones" and had such a wonderful time. I love the guy in the "sweater pants" - what a cool idea! I haven't even got my photos uploaded and edited yet.

  3. This was so fun to look at and read! You look fabulous!
    I like to hit the Goodwill and Salvation Army thrift stores and often find wonderful things; my most recent is a faux persian lamb swing coat for 25 dollars.

  4. Just got home and here I am, reliving the Crone Convergence all over again and laughing out loud at the wonder of it all. Jean and Valerie, you really know how to beautifully describe the splendor of an experience!

  5. How wonderful! The Crone Convergence and all of these gorgeous people and the treasures on display are so beautiful.

    The Betsey Johnson bats, flaring crystal earrings, and Romeo Gigli coat make my heart hurt a little. Okay, a lot.

  6. Thank you for sharing!! My brother and I would LOVE to do this! There are other Fashionista's like our selves. It is wonderful to see all the fun and individualality of each charactor you encountered on your trip!